Though they rain down my social media feeds and timelines daily, I have been hiding or scrolling past videos depicting shitbag police having their way with Black and brown bodies lately. It's not fair that I mosey on over to Facebook to squander my day with chicken recipes and clips of paternal itch-inducing dancing Black babies, only to be greeted with stories and videos and images and vines and Snapchats of newly dead Blackfolk.
I hate that pictures of dismembered Jamals and the violated Keishas and the bloody, murdered babyboos get mixed in with the cat videos and food porn and the dancing Black baby videos. Though they can be considered historical in context, images of lynched grandfathers and mass graves and fatal wounds are a disturbingly regular part of social media now. And that is fucking terrible.
When did we become so desensitized to tragedy? Why are camera phone pictures of Black corpses filled with bullet holes — their dreams, blood, and potential forming a puddle beneath them — disseminated without any consideration for the unknown viewers? What do we gain from reposting the final moments of somebody's uncle, somebody's wife, somebody's babyboo?
Awareness is one thing. Casual savagery is another.
Similarly, videos of Confederate flag enthusiasts — the sorest losers in this country's history — fighting for their right to be morally bankrupt fucknuggets who celebrate subjugation? At this point, they are a bore. Sure, it’s fun to poke fun, but how many times do we need to see Us being terrorized and assaulted to recognize that untreated melanin envy is as dangerous as dining at Sandra Lee’s and is no laughing matter?
Staying on the pulse of every injustice and learning and chanting all the names can be emotionally draining. Sometimes, it's all too much to keep up with, especially when living is harrowing enough by itself. At this point, the selective humanity and the state-sanctioned awful personhood should not be baffling or viewed as new or unexpected, for history, daily news and social media all tell us that this (wave upon wave of violent inhumanity) is the natural order of [their] things. Just take a look; It’s in a book. Any book.
And no amount of cleverly (and predictably) invoked Uncle Jimmy quotes or Langston lines or Mama Toni snippets will make it better. Trust me: posting that corpse won’t make it better, either.
Analyzing every instance of White terribleness is a thankless, never-ending undertaking. So, on occasion, before you do, don’t. It’s totally fine to opt out.
White fear and untreated melanin envy have been the root of countless crimes against Blackness, so until we’re able to poof-be-gone these hateful scumbaggy motherfuckers off the planet, we have to do much better at caring for Us and protecting and maintaining our sanity.
I appreciate and love that folks anticipate and respect my opinion, but sometimes, I just can't deal and it's too mentally taxing to be Mr. Outrage or Mr. Help Steer Whitefolk Away From The Darkside Somehow Someway Although That Terribleness Is Persistent As Fuck And Has Been Since The Beginning Of America here to make sense of their senseless fuckshit. For me, self-care amid such casual savagery means disconnecting every now and then, focusing on Life and devoting my energy, attention and love to those who love and look out for me.
I highly recommend you do the same. Sure, your voice matters. But so does your mind. Clock out from the circus when necessary.
In the rush to engage and inform, it won’t kill you take a second and consider:
Will sharing or repeating this benefit anyone?
Am I exhibiting the Oppressor’s heartlessness?
Is there a better way to address this injustice or tragedy than with the reposting of a gory visual?
What would Moms Mabley do?
Recently, during a Blackety Black roundtable by Define: BLACK, I spoke on some of the difficulties I face while interpreting and commenting on these tragedies, as well as the importance of keeping it together for you first before attempting to be a voice or source of comfort or information for anyone else: